Cristian Flores must have thought he was pretty tough when he and a few of his buddies decided to hassle a gay couple in Queens last year. However, Flores wasn’t such a tough guy when one of the gay men tackled him to the ground and held him until police showed up — and that was only after Flores already had stabbed the gay man.
Now Flores, 28, likely is headed to prison after pleading guilty yesterday to second-degree assault as a hate crime.
Flores, who’s from Boston, has been sitting in jail on $25,000 bond since the August 2011 attack. When he’s sentenced later this month, Queens Supreme Court Justice Steven W. Paynter indicated that he’ll likely sentence Flores to three-and-a-half years in prison.
The attack happened about 4 a.m. on August 21, 2011, when Flores and several of his friends approached
34-year-old Carlos Aleman as he was walking with his boyfriend on
Avenue, between 80th and 81st Streets in Jackson Heights. Flores and his
pals — none of whom have been identified or charged with any crimes —
started hassling the couple, making anti-gay remarks.
Flores and his friends then started pushing Aleman and his boyfriend.
When Aleman attempted to prevent Flores from attacking his boyfriend,
Flores pulled out a knife and stabbed him in the bicep.
Then, like a coward, Flores took off running.
Despite having a gaping wound in his bicep, Aleman gave chase and
tackled his attacker, pinning him to the ground until police showed up.
Aleman was taken to a hospital where he received seven stitches to close the stab wound. Flores was taken to jail.
“[The] guilty plea ensures that the victim of a crime motivated by hate
will receive justice,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown says.
“[Flores] is expected to be sentenced to three and one-half years in
prison – a term of imprisonment that will serve as both a punishment for
his actions and a deterrent to those who would commit hate crimes
whether they be motivated by gender, religion, sexual orientation or
Flores sentencing is scheduled for May 16. In addition to the likely
prison sentence, Flores also is expected to be sentenced to
two-and-a-half years of post-release supervision.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 2, 2012